Men’s health awareness month: heart risks

November is men’s health awareness month
This is a recurring recording of KOLO 8 News Now at 10.
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:42 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Cardiovascular disease, it’s a silent but deadly killer as it remains the leading cause of death in the United States.

According to Dr. Richard Bryan, a cardiologist and the chief medical officer at St. Mary’s says 1 in 4 people die of cardiovascular disease.

“It’s not that uncommon that we see 40 year olds presented in our emergency room with heart attacks, stroke, congestive heart failure,” said Dr. Bryan. “So I think it starts younger than what people realize.”

Dr. Bryan says during the pandemic the cardiovascular death rate has actually increased while emergency room calls for cardiovascular visits have decreased.

“What we hypothesize is happening is that patients are so afraid of going to the emergency room for fear of contracting Covid and their ignoring their cardiovascular symptoms,” added Dr. Bryan.

As a result, he says prolonged symptoms stick around a bit longer.

“So people are much sicker when they come in for their heart attacks, we’re seeing more congestive heart failure and seeing more advance disease because patients have largely ignored their symptoms during the pandemic and that’s really dangerous,” added Dr. Bryan.

So Dr. Bryan says it’s smart to know your numbers: that means knowing your blood pressure and cholesterol and what puts you at risk.

“and when you talk about risk, you’ve gotta realize hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, tobacco abuse, those are the major drivers, many of which are modifiable,” said Dr. Bryan. “Obviously once you develop symptoms or you have disease, it’s much harder to treat but cardiovascular disease is so preventable and the first step in that is engaging with your healthcare provider and understand where your risks lie.”

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